Having read that Scotland ranks 8th in the world in alcohol consumption, I thought it was a good time to reflect upon my year off alcohol.
I stopped drinking this time last year for a couple of reasons - primarily health related. I recently (couple of weeks ago) started drinking again, on the whole because I missed relaxing with a drink now and again - a glass of wine, a wee dram.
I think after I finished my Masters' I saw alcohol as something different. In Aberystwyth, with very little to do, the pub was always a shout and consumption was almost always much more than was good for you. Which, I guess, is the mentality which gets your to eighth in the world.
Now, there's some, with their tongue firmly in their cheek, who will point out that eighth (behind, Luxembourg?! Ireland - understandably - and various other European states) is just not good enough for a country with our relationship with alcohol, that surely if there's one thing we should be world leaders in, it is drinking alcohol. Which, while spoken in jest, points to the attitude and relationship that Scots have with alcohol.
Now I know that Kenny MacAskill's alcohol plans were widely rubbished in the Scottish Parliament, but there is recognition that there is a problem in Scotland with alcohol and a desire to do something about it. Okay the plan might noy have been the way forward, but we need to do something about the dangerous levels of alcohol consumption.
Here's an issue that the parties should be working together on before we do top that league table - but instead, we'll probably get more partisan bickering.